Printout of a story from The Last Main Line:

Paul Tansley remembers Robinsons and Thompsons

Among all of the Director's names is a Robinson Class B3 called 'Valour', this was often to be seen at Leicester and had a magnificent nameplate which commemorated the members of staff of the G.C.R. who lost their lives in the Great War. I believe that the tradition was very recently revived when a new diesel locomotive was given the name with due ceremony.
One class fondly remembered that was not a Robinson was the graceful Atlantic (4-4-2) designed by Ivatt of the Great Northern, these came mainly from Grantham or Lincoln but were regularly seen on fast passenger and later fitted freight trains. They had such fine lines and some were rebuilt by Nigel Gresley and I have always thought they influenced his later designs like the Pacific's (e.g. Flying Scotsman).

Unfortunately the end of the Second World War and subsequent Nationalisation was the wholesale demise of most of those splendid locos, Thompsons 4-6-0 B1 class known as 'Springboks' were already to be seen at Leicester.
During the war we had 'the Yanks' but what we spotters knew under this name were the U.S. Army austerity locomotives which were powerful 2-8-0s with a very distinctive noise. It is generally forgotten that they were quite numerous for a short while. I notice from my Stock Book that I 'copped' nineteen of them and they were used for general freight duties, not just for army movements; there is at least one preserved and this guested last year on one of the Great Central's wartime weekends. There were also smaller American tank engines, some of which were seen at Leicester depot.

The equivalent British locomotive was the 'Austerity' 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 which was very straight forward and easily serviced, large numbers were seen on the Central and both types are preserved.

This quite magnificent photograph is thought to have been taken around 1905 near Birstall, Leicester. Running at speed along the cutting is a Robinson designed 4-4-0 Class 11B main line passenger engine of 1901.

This quite magnificent photograph is thought to have been taken around 1905 near Birstall, Leicester. Running at speed along the cutting is a Robinson designed 4-4-0 Class 11B main line passenger engine of 1901.

B1 class 4-6-0, No. 61106, designed by Edward Thompson (the London & North Eastern Railway's Chief Mechanical Engineer) as a mixed-traffic work horse. The class proved to be both successful and popular.

B1 class 4-6-0, No. 61106, designed by Edward Thompson (the London & North Eastern Railway's Chief Mechanical Engineer) as a mixed-traffic work horse. The class proved to be both successful and popular.

The new Great Central Railway is one of the country's leading preserved lines, and as such is host to many large locomotives. One such visitor was this former War Department 'Austerity' 2-10-0 locomotive.

The new Great Central Railway is one of the country's leading preserved lines, and as such is host to many large locomotives. One such visitor was this former War Department 'Austerity' 2-10-0 locomotive.